June 12, 2015

Is the Supreme Court a Failure (and if so, What Can Be Done About It)?

2015 ACS National Convention, Supreme Court, The Case Against the Supreme Court

Linda Greenhouse

Yale Law School
Begin: 0:00

Erwin Chemerinsky

University of California, Irvine School of Law
Begin: 11:30

Justin Driver

University of Chicago Law School
Begin: 14:05

Larry Kramer

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Begin: 4:25

Nelson Lund

George Mason University School of Law
Begin: 17:15

Elizabeth Wydra

Constitutional Accountability Center
Begin: 15:31
For decades, progressives have embraced a view of the Supreme Court as the defender of individual and minority rights against governmental power and majority will. This view has persisted, despite much historical evidence to the contrary. As debates rage about when sitting justices should retire, the politicization of the nomination and confirmation processes has reached new heights. If the Court has failed, what reforms should we consider? Is it time to give serious consideration to ending lifetime appointment for the justices? Should we look to the states for alternative models of judicial selection? Are there other ways to nominate and confirm justices that offer a more meaningful opportunity for the public to engage in the process? And if the Court is not the defender of minority and individual rights progressives once thought it to be, should we be in favor of across-the-board judicial restraint, urging the Court to stay out of controversial constitutional issues and let the political process decide? 
  • Linda Greenhouse, Senior Research Scholar in Law, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence, and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
  • Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean, Distinguished Professor of Law and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • Justin Driver, Professor of Law and Herbert and Marjorie Fried Research Scholar, University of Chicago Law School 
  • Larry Kramer, President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 
  • Nelson Lund, University Professor, George Mason University School of Law
  • Elizabeth Wydra, Chief Counsel, Constitutional Accountability Center